Juigalpa, The Bride of the Fleeting Flails, is the departmental capital of Chontales. Its history and tradition are closely linked to a rich and centuries-old livestock tradition. It is a quiet, modern, prosperous city with extensive educational and cultural activities.


Sierra de America

The meaning of its toponymy has been interpreted in different ways. Alfonso Valle, giving her a Mexican origin, interprets her: Xuctlicallipan. Xuctli, black snail; calli, house, burrow, hatchery; bread, place “In the black snail hatchery”. Julián N. Guerrero does not support this meaning due to the absence of snails in the water sources near Juigalpa, a condition that can also be refuted, since this type of gastropods had a considerable presence in several streams in the municipality. According to Guerrero, the term Xicalli (“Abundant place of jícaros”), also of Mexican origin, is the most appropriate for the origin of our city. For their part, the North American Efrain Squier and the English scholar Thomas Belt give it the meaning of "Great city" (Juigalpan), a meaning also exposed by the Nicaraguan Carlos Mántica, who interprets: huey-calpul: "big town" (Hueygalpan : from huey-grande and cal-pul-neighborhood or city. Large city). For the Uruguayan-Canadian Danilo Antón, without exposing linguistic references, Juigalpa can be derived from Huzgal-pa, "Land of gold". Professor Mariano Miranda Noguera from Chontal, surely taking up Dávila Bolaños (1959), suggests a Miskito etymology: Suiwigalpa; sujwi, sweetbread; galpa, stone; "Grill stone".

Its archaeological legacy is abundant and includes samples of unique statuary in Nicaragua.

In August, the municipality is filled with joy and jubilation to celebrate its patron saint: the Virgin of the Assumption, who is celebrated with giantesses, alboradas, reveille, parties and bullfighting evenings. The "fiesta brava", as it has been called, brings together thousands of visitors from all over Nicaragua.

The municipality of Juigalpa is located 140 kilometers from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. It limits to the north with San Francisco de Cuapa, to the south with Acoyapa and Lake Cocibolca, to the east with La Libertad and San Pedro de Lóvago and to the west with Comalapa.

In past centuries, the municipal economy was based on cattle farming. Currently, the commercial activity is thriving and dynamic. Agriculture has corn, beans and rice as its main products. Among the vegetables and greens, watermelons, pipianes, chiltomas and squashes stand out. In the coastal area of ​​Lake Cocibolca, artisanal fishing is of relevant socioeconomic importance.

Demographic data

Territorial expansion



726.75 km2 116.85 AMSL 60,152 inhabitants
Urban: 51,486 - Rural: 8,666


Livestock, main economic activity

Livestock, main economic activity

To get to the municipality from Managua, you must board a bus at the Mercado El Mayoreo terminal bound for Juigalpa, or board those that go to El Rama, Nueva Guinea or San Carlos – Río San Juan, and get off at the entrance to Juigalpa.

If you travel by private vehicle, take the North Pan-American Highway, at the San Benito junction you must turn right, go through the Boaco junction, following the signs until you reach Juigalpa.



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